Photography at any time can be a challenge. The light this time of year is great (sometimes) but if you are outside you need to deal with the cold. Standing still in sub zero temperatures for even 10 to 15 minutes can be hard going.
Sometimes you do not need to venture too far. With the Arctic weather of the past week I was lucky enough for the birds to venture into my garden. The Pyracantha produced a bumper harvest of orange berries which the birds had left alone (up until now). Not only did Blackbirds cover the bush but also Fieldfares who up until now I had not seen in the garden.
The challenge was how to photograph the birds without scaring them away as I had not had time to put up a hide beforehand. I decided to shoot them from indoors by opening the bedroom window. At this point they all flew away but the Blackbirds returned after a short while and carried on feeding. Provided I did not make any sudden movement, the Blackbirds were quite content.
The FieldFares were a different story altogether. I could only shoot them through the window (not ideal if you have double glazing – as window glass is not of optical quality) as the sight of the window open and me standing indoors with a long lens attached to the camera was enough to keep them away. The decision for me was to get a shot (albeit at reduced quality) or none at all – I opted for the latter.
The camera (Canon 40D) was supported on a tripod with a Canon 100-400mm zoom lens. I had to increase the ISO to 1000 to get any reasonable shutter speed while an Aperture of f5.6 was selected.
A couple of the shots can be seen here.
This was just another example of adapting to the conditions we Photographers sometimes find ourselves in and trying to do the best with what we have got. Shooting through window glass is not ideal but it was the only way I was going to get a picture of a Fieldfare on this occasion.